3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Different to Decipher - and hard to decipher?, 25 Oct. 2005
Stel Pavlou is obviously a well-read man with a talent for incorporating his knowledge into interesting ideas. His first effort, Decipher, managed to combine against-the-clock action with science, mythology, religion and philosophy. Gene explores similar areas, yet for me that's where the similarities end. Whereas with Decipher I put the book down and was impressed with the author and his storytelling, this time I put the book down and resented the author for robbing me of the last week's reading time.
The story of a detective pursuing a criminal is broken up with chapters describing the various former lives of one of the main characters spanning three thousand years. All the while Pavlou builds a story based upon arguably the greatest epic of all time, and then he ends his story without concluding the tale. Some people may say that this is a metaphor for the cyclical theme of the book, but when I purchase a book whose blurb talks of two men who have 'an instinctive need to kill the other', I can't help feeling cheated when we don't find out whether this happens or not. There is no clue that I can see that tells me of the outcome; nothing to back up the promise that 'the cycle is coming to an end'. Maybe I'm being thick by not recognising the literary genius of the book's open-ending, yet if I am, surely you can't begrudge me for wanting an action ending from a book with an action synopsis?